Undying cry for freedom

As i contemplate my own definition for the word freedom, i pause. I think of all the ‘freedom’ i have received in my life and the opportunities that not many in Tibet could ever achieve. I think about my roots and where i came from, how i got here and.. I pause. The poor conditions i might have to live with… I pause. The freedom of speech that i would have never known.. i pause. The constant struggle of assimilating with the China’s oppression of Tibet… I pause… The sadness i would have felt in not being able to pray to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama… I pause…The The treacherous Himalayas i might have had to cross. I pause… The life i would have never known.

BUT I KNOW

I know i have the freedom to speak when i can, i know i have the privilege of being able to pause when i please. I know i have the freedom of religion that my constitution protects. I know i can write my thoughts and share them with the world.

I might have never known the life i would have led but i do know the life i currently have. In this life i carry the power to speak, breath, write, and carry the freedom my people in Tibet desire and deserve as any other human being in this world.

I refuse to be a victim. I am a survivor and i still remember. I am Tibetan. I will survive!

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Tibetan Refugees Speak

Here are the true sources who are credible to speak about the situations in Tibet. Tibetans.. fresh out of Tibet occupied by the People’s Republic of China.

Though China may have power over the country Tibet itself, they will never have power over the Tibetans because We will never give up… We are the survivors of Tibet!

Sweet ;)

Hey Wangmo. I was bored at work and decided to dedicate a poem to you. Here it is. Each line begins with the letters of your name. I hope u enjoy it.

Take care

Whoever shall cross your path in life,
Altruistic deeds of yours shall be sung in hymns,
Nobility and humbleness have been distilled and imbued in you,
Gifted you are with the eloquence and intellect of an enlightened philosopher,
May the future womankind be a mirror of your image,
Or at least have a molecule of your characters and wisdom

You are Wangmo

A Survey for the Tibetan Youth

Tashi Delek all,

I am currently looking to interview few of the Tibetan youths currently residing in the United States for an article concerning the Tibetan Youth in exile.

Please complete the survey below if you fit the following description:

– A Tibetan youth in the age range of (18-29) who currently lives in the United States


Click HERE for The Survey

Please do not make this into a joke, I do not have time for jokers, I take this seriously so please respect my work.

Thank you or Thuchi Che

Opinion: There needs to be respect for both sides of faith

I was born into Tibetan Buddhism and transitioned to atheism and finally to agnosticism.

By definition, an agnostic is not committed to believing in or disbelieving in the existence of God.

My mother is a devoted Tibetan Buddhist. She prays every morning and every night.

I’ve seen her become scared of her dreams and then pray and give offerings at our alter. She sleeps peacefully the next night, believing the gods have been thanked.

I don’t know how much of what my mother believes is actually true, but it’s the ultimate truth for her. Although I don’t believe the gods helped her, I envy her good night’s rest, and for that I do thank religion.

I respect all religions in the world if they benefit people in the way Tibetan Buddhism does my mother.

We used to constantly have arguments about religion, and it always ended up a disaster. My mother supported her beliefs through what she has been taught orally and traditionally and I constantly questioned and asked for facts. My goal was not to prove her wrong necessarily, but to have her question her sources.

Having lived in the West for 70 percent of my life, I have learned to question before accepting. But the topic has become so controversial in my family, my mother has restricted talks of religion at the dinner table.

We have finally come to an agreement that we will respect each other’s views and not go any further than that.

Though I do not believe in half the prayers and rituals that are done in my home on certain days, I participate so that I may please my mother and, in return, see the truth in her perspective from what she has been taught.

After all, the Buddha has been quoted as saying: “Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it.

“Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books.

“Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it.

“Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.”

I am not one for blind faith. I believe in rationality, and I believe you must absolutely question something at least once before you claim it to be the absolute truth.

San Francisco Bay Area Cancels Tibetans New Year

San Francisco, CA, Feb 26 – Tibetans and supporters alike gathered yesterday morning to cancel the usual festive celebrations of th

e Tibetan New Year (Losar) and instead led a ‘Peace March’ on the memorable Golden Gate Bridge followed by a protest at the Chinese Consulate and a candle light vigil in Union Square in San Francisco.

“China has flooded Tibet with troops and barred all foreigners, actions clearly meant to intimidate and suppress any further expressions of dissent during the New Year and in the lead up to March 10, which will mark 50 years of Tibetan resistance to Chinese occupation,” said Dechen Tsering, president of the Tibetan Association of Northern California. “We fear Chinese authorities are preparing for a renewed assault against Tibetans who dare to speak out for their basic rights.”

According to S.F Team Tibet, the ‘Peace March’ was held to stand in solidarity with the Tibetans inside Tibet in their determination to mourn the millions of Tibetan deaths caused under the brutal Chinese military forces in the past 50 years, with the hundreds that died during the daring Tibetan Uprising of last year during the Olympics.

Tsering Khankyi of San Francisco Tibetan Youth Congress said “The Chinese government through their state media claims that this year’s ‘No Losar’ campaign is something planned by HH the Dalai Lama and his government in exile. But, let me make this clear to everyone here that it is the people of Tibet who have spontaneously stood up in defiance and mourning to not celebrate this year’s Losar, and we are here standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Tibet.”

The New York Times reported that last year’s March 10th marked one of the largest Tibetan uprisings carried by Tibetan monks, nuns and laymen who took over the streets of Lhasa with what started as a peaceful protest to express distress over the ‘the domination of the region by the ethnic Han Chinese’ forcing Tibetans to be minorities in their own land, but ended in violence due to the malicious actions of the Chinese military.

Government leaders across the world expressed concerns over China’s violent response to the protest leading many campaigns calling on their governments and leaders to take further action with almost 200 Tibet organizations signing letters to world leaders.

Yesterday the U.S released its annual report on human rights signed by Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, stating that Beijing’s rights record “remained poor and worsened in some areas”.

Giovanni Vassallo, President of the Bay Area Friends of Tibet says “Security in Tibet remains high following last year’s protests and, with another March 10th fast approaching, China has instituted new measures to intimidate Tibetans and denigrate their cultural and religious identity”.

The Economist reported today that China has blocked Tibet to foreigners until late March.

SF TEAM TIBET is a coalition of five different organizations working towards one goal; human rights in Tibet!

One of the first Opinion articles i wrote-

Living as ‘Other’ in the U.S.A.

By Tenzin Shakya

September 25, 2008 (The Inquirer)

I am a Tibetan, born in Nepal and raised in India until age 8, when I came to the United States.

Mine is a typical journey for this second generation of Tibetan “refugees,” who fight against being extinct in the modern world.

Our parents fled from their homeland to become refugees in neighboring countries to save their families’ lives and provide better education for their children.

When people ask me why Tibet should be free, I answer by saying, “Because everyone has the right to basic freedom.”

We try our best to preserve our ancestral culture and beliefs by telling anyone who will listen, about the situation in Tibet.

Located in the central Himalayan, Tibet is also known to many as “Shangrila” meaning “utopian peace.” I have never been there myself but it is a priority after finishing my studies.

Growing up in America was difficult but surely not impossible. I spoke four languages – Tibetan, Nepali, Hindi and English -and managed to blend in with the rest in elementary and middle school, never really questioning who I was.

But that changed my first year of high school.

I was filling out a form online, when I noticed there was no selection for “Tibetan” under “ethnicity”

Clicking on the word “Asian,” I was led to a list of everything from “Indian” to “Chinese” and even “Taiwanese.”

I hit the box for “other” and typed in “Tibetan,” thinking how America is one of the top countries in the world, and yet there is no room on a form to acknowledge my identity.

Since then, I have felt the need to specify my ethnicity as Tibetan. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) once said, “Knowledge is power.” And I believe knowledge is gained through education.

China claims Tibet to be a part of China. Yet Tibetans are forced to be minorities in their own land and lack many economic and educational resources needed to survive.

The Chinese government repeatedly states its invasion benefited Tibet by bringing it into the modern world. How it is possible then that the educational index for Tibet ranks last against China’s other 31 provinces? And why must the youth of Tibet learn to speak Chinese in order to go to school? Many of them fail to do so and drop out after the fifth grade.

Due to this lack of educational opportunities, young Tibetans escape every year across the treacherous Himalayas to join the Tibetan exile community in India. And from there, they try to further their education by coming to the west. Thus, the cycle of my story starts all over again.

The Tibetan Association of Northern California estimates the population of Tibetans here is at about 3,500.

But we were invisible until the controversy surrounding the decision to hold the 2008 Olympic Games in China. Now, just about everyone knows of the “Free Tibet” movement.

When people ask me why Tibet should be free, I answer by saying, “Because everyone has the right to basic freedom.”

I am pro Tibetan independence, but more along the lines of “Tibetan freedom.” I also favor “Chinese freedom” and “African freedom.” It is a matter of focusing on the basic principles of human rights.

People deserve the right to make choices for themselves regarding their lives – to speak when they have ideas to share and to practice the religion in which they believe.

The way to participate in a “modern.” civilized society is by making dialogues a necessity. Government’s primary role should be to protect the rights of its citizens, not restrict them.

Inquirer Memories

MSA sets record strait about Islam

By: Tenzin Shakya

DVC student Colin Amato, 19, converted to Islam two years ago. He was the featured speaker at the first of three events sponsored last month by the Muslim Student Association to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslim students. We did this so that we could raise awareness of the misconceptions surrounding Islam,” said MSA President Tori Burrell, “and also so that we can share our education about each other’s religion.


Opinion: There needs to be respect for both sides of faith

By: Tenzin Shakya

I was born into Tibetan Buddhism and transitioned to atheism and finally to agnosticism. By definition, an agnostic is not committed to believing in or disbelieving in the existence of God. My mother is a devoted Tibetan Buddhist. She prays every morning and every night.

Parental Consent for Abortion?

By: Tenzin Shakya

DVC student Chemi Subhar, 21, says she plans to vote in favor of Proposition 4, even though she believes in a woman’s right to have an abortion. “However, of you are a minor,” Subhar said, “your parents should be notified because abortion is a huge issue that should be talked about with your family.”

Students Honor Female Heroes in ‘Rivets’ Musical

By: Tenzin Shakya

During World War II, American men left for the battlefields, and women had to take care of home. But this was not just the typical cooking and cleaning. For the first time in U.S. history, women began taking jobs previously held by men in shipyards and factories.

Living as ‘Other’ in the U.S.A.

By: Tenzin Shakya

I am a Tibetan, born in Nepal and raised in India until age 8, when I came to the United States. Mine is a typical journey for this second generation of Tibetan “refugees,” who fight against being extinct in the modern world. Our parents fled from their homeland to become refugees in neighboring countries to save their families’ lives and provide better education for their children.

Memories go up in smoke

By: Tenzin Shakya

The arson fire that destroyed DVC’s Police Services building June 23 took years of memories from the officers who called it their “work home.” Lt. Tom Sharp, who supervises police services at DVC, called the fire “a work of true, active cowardliness.